A family from Adams is thankful to be alive after a weekend getaway to Las Vegas turned to horror as a gunman opened fire on a country music festival.
Jason Aldean was the last performer to take the stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Sunday when shots rang out.
In the crowd of more than 22,000, approximately 50 yards from the outdoor stage, Travis Buhr, his wife Kelly and twin 14-year-old daughters were among the confused spectators not sure if the initial “bangs” from behind them were part of the show. Then Aldean fled the stage as more shots followed.
“A machine gun just went off and 20-25 rounds shot over us into the pits,” Travis Buhr said in an interview on Monday morning. “That’s when everybody just scrambled. I grabbed my wife and kids and took off running.”
The family was staying at the MGM Grand, roughly a mile north of the Mandalay Bay, where authorities said 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on the concert crowd from a room on the 32nd floor.
The family fled to the north on foot to the Tropicana, a resort hotel between the concert area and the MGM Grand.
There, they hid behind large rocks in the pool area until it was safe to move on.
“We were running toward our hotel, and you just couldn’t get through,” Buhr said. “They were locking doors on hotels and everything just stopped. About halfway to our hotel we took probably seven or eight people and climbed behind rocks. By then the traffic was pretty much stopped. Taxis weren’t taking anybody. They told us to get to our rooms.”
Buhr said other people climbed trees, hid in cargo containers, anywhere possible to find cover.
The Buhr family was up all night and had planned to fly back to Nebraska Monday, but was debating renting a car and driving instead.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Travis Buhr said. “We just want to get out of here.”
Buhr said nobody in their immediate area was hit by gunfire.
“We didn’t see anybody injured and I’m glad we didn’t,” Travis Buhr said. “When we were cutting through the vendor area there was a blood trail. I don’t know if someone got cut while running or what. People were knocking each other over, jumping fences. It was complete chaos.”